Avalanche Canada has issued a warning for backcountry skiers in the North Rockies, North Cariboo region, and North Columbia area.
The warning, dated January 20 to January 23, says recent warm temperatures coupled with new snow have created a dangerous dense “slab” layer resting on a base of weak snow.
It says the resulting unstable snowpack could be easily triggered by backcountry users.
“It was unusually cold and dry in this region through December and early January, giving the area a very thin and weak snowpack,” said Avalanche Canada Forecasting Program Supervisor in a statement.
“We have been anticipating this problem for a while and now it’s here. This week’s warmer temperatures and new snow have created a very dangerous situation for backcountry users.”
The organization says anyone using the backcountry should have an avalanche transceiver, probe, and shovel, and should ideally have a level one Avalanche Skills Training course.
B.C. has already seen at leat one deadly Avalanche this season, a slide in Valemount which claimed the life of an Edmonton man.
Last year was a particularly deadly avalanche season in B.C., with 14 lives lost – nearly all of them snowmobilers.